Today the Ministry of Justice announced changes to disclosure rules, reducing the amount of time people with low-level criminal convictions are required to declare their criminal record to potential employers, housing, and educational providers.
For example, people who were given a sentence of a year or less previously had to declare their criminal record for up to 4 years. Under the new rules, they will now only need to do so for a year.
In response, Pavan Dhaliwal, Chief Executive of Revolving Doors, said:
“We welcome the Ministry of Justice acknowledging the counterproductive nature of long disclosure periods for low-risk convictions.
It is encouraging that these updates acknowledge the potential for constructive change and personal growth after serving a sentence.
This will have a positive impact on those like our lived experience members, who have broken free from the cycle of crisis and crime only to find their opportunities to rebuild their lives and reintegrate into communities limited by the stigma of a criminal record.
The government must also go further in addressing systemic issues and root causes including poverty, housing insecurity, inadequate mental health and substance misuse support in order to truly tackle the revolving door of crisis and crime.”
Revolving Doors lived experience member Caroline said:
“I have found it hard at times to progress on my recovery journey as my criminal record has been a barrier to gaining employment. However, the new changes to the rehabilitation periods will give me the confidence to apply for jobs and work towards achieving my career goals. The new changes will also allow me to put the past behind me and move forward without the burden of past mistakes – I am now more hopeful for my future.”